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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. ATHERTON, a farmer and stock-raiser, owns a very desirable homestead on section 11, township 45, range 28, Johnson County, in the suburbs of Holden. This place he purchased some fifteen years ago, and about two years later completed an elegant and commodious residence, in which he has since made his home. He has been very successful in his numerous business enterprises, and in addition to his farm owns four brick business houses, residence property and town lots in Holden, one of which is one of the finest blocks in the city. The parents of the above-named gentleman were Joseph and Mary (Kile), Atherton. The father was born May 15, 18 18, in Knox County, Ohio, being a son of Francis Atherton, a native of Pennsylvania and of English ancestry. He was a pioneer in Knox County, and died on his farm when his son Joseph was quite young. The latter learned the carpenter’s trade and was employed in that vocation for a lumber of years, in this way making his start in a business career. In 1852 he removed to Union County, Ohio, and remained there until the close of the war, when he sold out and went to Iowa County, Iowa, becoming the owner of two hundred and forty-five acres of land. Three years later he removed to Cass County, Mo., and bought the land on which the village of Creighton now stands. Afterward selling out, he moved to Holden, where he made his home for three years, and then, in 1876, went to reside in Independence, where his death occurred three years later, September 26, 1879. His wife was born in Shenandoah County, Va., February 21, 1818, and moved to Ohio when she was a girl. She was married October 31, 1840, and became the mother of six children, of whom William H. is the youngest, and with him she is now living. The other children all died without leaving families except Sarah V., who married Anderson Maupin, and died April 12, 1894, leaving two children, Norman and Goldie. During the panic of 1873 Joseph Atherton came to the assistance of the Holden Bank, which was in distress, loaning them $3,000, which they were obliged to have on a certain day or close their doors. He was first a Whig and later a Republican, having cast his first Presidential ballot for William H. Harrison.

The birth of William H. Atherton occurred in Knox County, Ohio, June 22, 1852. After attending the common schools and obtaining a good general knowledge of the elementary branches of education he went out into the world to make his own livelihood. He continued to dwell with his father, who was in poor health, until his death. In 1880 he purchased his present homestead, and by diligence and well directed efforts has steadily prospered. He also is a Republican, and takes much interest in campaign work, though he is not desirous of occupying public positions, and his first ballot was cast for Hayes in 1876.

September 18, 1881, Mr. Atherton married Isabel Burke, who was born in Union County, Ind., February 18, 1866. In 1879 she moved to Johnson County with her parents, Lemuel and Isabel (Girard) Burke, the former of whom was born in Hamilton Comity, Ohio, September 10, 1815, and the latter in Virginia, February 20, 1824. She is a lady of refinement and received superior educational advantages. Five children came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Atherton, but their eldest son, William Bertram, whose birth occurred at Holden, March 17, 1883, died July 23, 1884. The others are Bessie Lillian, born March 31, 1884; Goldie, July 7, 1885; Henry Clarence, September 9, 1888; and Mildred Isabel, December 1, 1891, all being natives of Holden. The parents are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are liberal contributors to religious and benevolent enterprises.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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